ISLE OF WIGHT Co., Va. -- Officials in Isle of Wight County are working to find homes for more than 250 animals, seized and voluntarily surrendered, after sheriff's officials found them at a home in the county last week.
Sheriff’s officials said no animal cruelty or neglect is suspected.
“Every animal deserves to be loved,” said Daniel Judkins, who works as the farm manager of the Isle of Wight County Schools’ Agricultural Land Lab. “It’s a dream job... to be able to come out and help the students learn about agriculture and give them these experiences, it’s very fulfilling.”
Recently, he added a pair of cows and 15 ducklings to their family.
“The cows, our students gave them a bath today [Tuesday],” he said. “They scrubbed them down. The cows were loving it. The students were loving it. It comes around full circle.”
The cows and ducklings are some of 260 animals and livestock county officials have taken in since last Thursday.
“Anywhere from dogs, to chickens, to guineas, to roosters, to rabbits,” Capt. Tommy Potter, Public Information Officer for the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office said.
“The homeowner that lived there unfortunately passed away,” Potter added. “I just think that the family was just quickly, over a period of time, overwhelmed with these number of animals. They all appear to be healthy. They appear to be in good shape. It was just the living conditions that they were in at the time.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, the county's animal shelter is still taking in animals from the property.
Since last Thursday, officials and volunteers have been working to get the animals, including dozens of beagles, ready for adoption and new homes.
“It’s definitely a big undertaking,” Potter said. “We have a staff that’s able to step up and handle the task that’s before them. We get these animals here that maybe have been traumatized, maybe haven’t had the best home. Our staff takes time with them; they vet them; they socialize them. They make sure that that’s the right animal for the right family.”
No matter how old or young, Judkins hopes each of the animals find a new home.
“[It’s] not every day animals get the opportunity to have a good life in instances like this,” he said. “It’s a win-win. You get to love on an animal, and an animal gets to see love and gets to be taken care of. It’s just the way that it should be.”
Potter said the animals that were seized have to go through court proceedings before the county shelter can gain custody and get them ready for adoption.
If you're interested in adoption through the Isle of Wight County Animal Services shelter, click here.